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April 9, 2010

Bart Stupak to Retire

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan), who led an amendment to block federal funding for abortion in health care but alienated pro-life groups when he voted for the Senate version of the bill, will retire at the end of his term.

Earlier, Family Research Council Action planned to spend $500,000 and Susan B. Anthony List planned to spend $150,000 on ad campaigns targeting Stupak and other Democrats who voted for the health care bill. Stupak, who served in Congress for 18 years, told the Associated Press that attacks from groups on abortion did not influence his decision and that he wanted to spend more time with his family and start a new career.

In a Wall Street Journal column last month, William McGurn suggested the end of pro-life Democrats.

Update: FRC sent a press release praising Stupak's pro-life stance, blaming the Democratic Party for his legacy.

It is a shame that he will leave Congress remembered more for his vote on the Obama health care bill, the largest abortion promoting piece of legislation in the last 30 years.

Rep. Stupak's fall lies directly at the feet of the Democratic congressional leadership and President Obama, who pushed their support of government funding of abortion over the principles of pro-life Members of their own party. Although Rep. Stupak certainly is responsible for the decision he made to endorse the Obama plan, the severe demands his President and Party placed on him were untoward and unremitting.

Comments

Rep.Stupak caved under pressure. Then he saw the writing on the wall in his district and the country, but it was too late. An honorable career that will be remembered by this one vote that did him,and perhaps all of us in. Pray for our leaders and our country. Pray God will be glorified.

I'm very appreciate of Bart Stupak. Without his holdout, this would have been passed without even addressing the abortion issue. I know there are plenty of naysayers who will say that he caved, but he didn't. And I know there are plenty of people who will say that it's just an executive order that can be "retracted on a whim" (I've heard that phrase so many times I'm sick of it). But I think he showed a lot of courage, and I believe we need a lot more pro-life democrats so we who are pro-life can make a legitimate choice between the parties. I'm thankful for the work he did and sorry that he is being harassed out of office by people who should know better. Thank you, Mr. Stupak

His retirement symbolically casts doubt on the future of Democrats for Life. With either a pro-choice Dem or a pro-life Rep taking his seat come November, the most visible pro-life Dem seat will not be so when the year is out.